What The Golf?
Genre: Arcade, Sports, Party
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 21/05/2020
Price: – £17.99
A code was kindly provided for review purposes.
If you’ve watched the trailer for What The Golf? before reading this review – you can see it’s absolutely bonkers. The developers behind this arcade/party title have really put their best foot forward and as their tagline suggests; This is a game for people who don’t like golf and want some serious fun! Although that’s not to say fans of the sport won’t have an equal measure of laughter too!
Swing For Gold
From the moment you get thrust into the first course it becomes clear this isn’t your average golf game. The concept is simple, hit the end flag to finish the level. However it’s the execution of which you do this that makes What The Golf? truly stand out as one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have with your Switch. There are ten worlds to complete, each with a varying number of courses and themes. The hub area is much like an office environment with different tech lying around (some animals too) and your job is find the level flags and complete each stage to progress further.
There are certain areas which are closed off and within each stage, you have three objectives, the first time you play you’ll always need to hit the flag in order to win. If you jump back into the same stage you’ll be presented with a unique challenge such as finishing the stage within a certain par, hitting specific objects and a lot of other cleverly thought out objectives. So with ten worlds and three separate challenges to complete on each stage, there’s plenty of content here.
Additionally you have daily challenges, an impossible challenge for those die hard fans and local two player options. The multiplayer is a lot of fun, you’re presented with ten mini challenges all randomly generated and then after the tenth you’re put into a death match to determine the overall winner. Depending how many mini challenges you win will determine your health bar at the final stage. The only thing I would say is I wish they’d given us the option to play with four people instead of just two; I can see it being completely chaotic but that would add to the fun and much like games with a similar party nature I’m sure hilarity would ensue.
Every stage is well implemented and even after you get to the later areas there’s never really a sense of repetition; with a game of this size and simplicity I have to applaud Triband for achieving that. It took me just under eight hours to get through the main campaign and I did all three challenges per stage. The difficulty does feel a little unbalanced but very sporadically and only in certain areas, generally it feels very fluid. There’s one section which I’d say fell flat for me and that’s what I’m going to call the ‘Doom 64’ area.
You’re presented with each stage in first person; in order to shift your viewpoint, you have to physically tilt the Switch (if you’re playing handheld) to look around. If you’re playing docked, then the game comes up with a message asking you to change your control style but it doesn’t remember you’re playing on the TV each time you potentially fail the stage. So you have to keep changing it. It just slows the pacing down and I just didn’t have as much fun in this area as I did the rest.
You’re treated to what can probably be best described as a barber shop quartet for the musical score. A lot of humming and choral sounds but it suits the tone of the game perfectly. It’s all very tongue in cheek. The controls are easy to master, you use just one button to hit the ball and determine the power of your swing and then the left analogue stick will control the direction you hit the object. You will also notice Triband have pulled inspiration from very popular gaming material in genius ways, there’s Rocket League, Super Meat Boy, Flappy Bird and even Katamari Damacy Reroll inspired stages! I’ll leave it up to you to find the rest.
A lot of the enjoyment comes from discovering which object or thing you’re going to be hitting next. They range from desk chairs, vases, eggs, sticky balls and even a house! Each one has its own precautions that you’ll discover as you play. For example, if you’re using a TNT barrel it’s probably advisable not to hit any obstructions on the course. The ten worlds on offer are all themed to some degree and this does play into each stage, for example one area has you completing Portal-like courses and another is set in space so the gravity has to be taken into account when trying to reach that all important flag pole.
What The Golf? is a fantastic example of an arcade sports title done right. Triband have created a hilariously witty game with genius level design that is always thinking outside of the box. An adorable art style with a simple idea in nature but requires a little more head scratching in execution. With a sprawling campaign mode, updated daily challenges, collectibles for completing all three stage challenges and a multiplayer mode that’s perfect for gamers of any skill level; this is a must play for any Switch owner.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase What The Golf? from the Nintendo eShop by following the link below: